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- LG 47LA7400
- A full-fledged feature fiend, but with picture quality that's more bark than bite
LG 47LA7400 LED TV Review$1,799.99
A full-fledged feature fiend, but with picture quality that's more bark than bite
If advancements in TV technology have told us anything about what people want, it’s that no one wants to leave home ever again, and everyone hates their cable boxes. If you despise the internet, the LA7400 series is certainly not for you, but you aren’t reading this anyway. These TVs are packed with streaming services, games, sharing features, and useless apps galore.
We recently reviewed LG’s 2013 Google TV, the G3; while the G3 and the LA7400 series are quite similar in terms of picture quality, the G3 ultimately claims the upper hand, due to better overall functionality and price. The 47-inch LA7400 we tested carries an MSRP of $1799.99—nearly $450 dollars more than its Google-powered counterpart.
A pretty panel with ample connectivity—atop a bloated base
Opinions around the office vary, but this TV’s design is nothing if not unique. The gunmetal stand and invisible bezel blend nicely into a variety of settings, true, but there’s something clumsy and overweight about the curved, crouching stand; its metal, hefty construction feels vaguely robotic. Is it a bot or a TV? Can it attack my enemies? Worst of all, the red LG logo is obnoxiously out of sync with the rest of the scheme.
For the controller, the LA7400 ships with an unconventional Magic Remote, which uses a combination of voice and gesture functions to man the TV. We discuss these functions in more depth below, but we should mention the lack of any sort of traditional remote. Number buttons are evidently a thing of the past.
Separating the wheat from the gimmicks
If you’re shopping for a new TV, but secretly you just want a living room robot, the LA7400 is a fair bet. Television is just part of what this bright behemoth offers.
Press the voice button and a cartoon girl in a tight red jumpsuit will appear. Awkward but true. After a ditzy moment of thought (wherein the user contemplates the role of femininity in technology), a word bubble materializes nearby, which is your cue to speak: Say, “Katie Perry videos”—a YouTube video with the candy-clad singer will appear. Ask for a website, a Katherine Mansfield story, a movie, how to roller skate—the cartoon babe will get what you want—most of the time.
Rounding out the gimmicks is an NFC sticker that ships with the TV. If you're an iPhone user, move on. This is not compatible with your device. For all of you Android users: Enable NFC on your phone, make sure the TV and the phone are on the same network, touch the sticker to the back of your phone, and download the two—yes two—LG apps that pop onto the screen. This will allow control of the TV via phone, and network sharing as well. And to top things off, look for four very comfortable pairs of passive 3D glasses that ship with the LA7400.
Oh, right—this is a TV, too.
Before we get too caught up in the smart feature fanfare, let’s consider this machine’s primary function. Much like the G3, the LA7400’s picture is adequate, but not breathtaking. To begin with, it doesn’t get especially dark, so its depiction of an inky black scene won’t be as convincing as it could otherwise be. Luckily, most regular content consists of a balanced mix of darks and lights, and since this LED can get bright as blazes, the picture looks great most of the time, despite its dark deficit. But be sure to sit front-and-center, because the viewing angle on this TV is extremely narrow.
But aside from all that, the TV performs well. Even though some colors are overly vibrant, they do transition from one hue to the next quite smoothly, rendering a detailed, polished picture. And motion looks excellent too. This TV boasts a 240 Hz refresh rate, meaning it pulls data 240 times every second, so blurring and jagged pictures won’t be an issue here. In fact, the motion is so smooth to begin with, that even the lowest motion processing setting on this TV renders a strange, overly-processed image—meaning it simply begins to show you too much, lending that unpleasant soap opera effect.
Worth the price?
Picture quality like this on a TV half the price would be one thing, but a price just shy of two grand is another story; the 47-inch LA7400 carries an MSRP of $1799.99. Definitely look for this on sale—we found it online for about $1200. Sure, much of what you’re paying for is features—but that’s exactly the point. If you’re looking for top-dog picture quality, move on.
And speaking of features, if you’re comparing LG’s 2013 Google TV, the G3, and the LA7400 series, here’s a tip: The G3 has better smart controls, namely the full QWERTY keypad on the back of its much-better remote. Believe me, that goes a very long way on a smart TV. In terms of picture quality? The two series are nearly identical. Compare your streaming subscriptions, though, as the offerings vary on each.